Dream Big & Buy The Shoes

January 18, 2017

What I'll Be Reading On Vacation & Hello Book Lover Giveaway

Since I love writing my book reviews, why not give you a peek in to what's currently on my nightstand and on my iPad?!
book subscriptions
I am flying solo for the first time in a while this weekend so I'm preparing for the airport and flight reading I'll be doing. Usually I'm a huge fan of people watching, but I have a goal of reading 42 books this year, so there's no time to waste.

I mentioned in my latest book review that I would like to outside my usual horror and mystery loves occasionally, and at my most recent visit to the library I picked up Dear Amy because again, I liked the cover...which seems to be a common theme for me. It's a dark read and a slow one so far, but I am enjoying it and hope to finish it by the time the plane takes off Friday afternoon. There's all that down time after you get through security and get your coffee, or margarita...so I plan on spending it nose deep in a book.

Newly downloaded on my iPad mini is Sunset In Central Park, another book from Sarah Morgan's series and one for the cupcake & mystery book lover in me-- Sprinkle With Murder.

Last but not least, the third book I'll be bringing with me is from my Hello Book Lover box I received in the mail last week. The Life We Bury was a random pick, since I let the Hello Book Lover gals pick which one I would be sent this month. It looks like such a good read which will be an interesting one since I just finished We Are All Made Of Stars a few weeks ago which was based around a hospice nurse and they both take place in a similar setting, this one being a nursing home.

what is hello book lover
You may be asking- what is this Hello Book Lover and how do I receive a box? Hello Book Lover is an awesome monthly book club subscription that I am loving. There's subscription boxes out there for so many things and the Hello Book Lover box is the cutest package that always puts a smile on my face. Each month you will receive a new book and a few pretty surprises based around the season or book theme delivered right to your door.
The subscriptions start at $28 and there are two books to select from each month. You can make your selection of the book you would like to receive in your box, or you can choose to be surprised. I've tried both ways and been super happy each time.
book subsription box
Hello Book Lover ships out the boxes the first week of each month. Your box arrives within a few days with the book and a few surprises. After you finish reading your selection, towards the end of the month there is a book club style discussion of each book on the Hello Book Lover blog! You can discuss your thoughts and opinions on the month's book with the Hello Book Lover community and connect with other readers.
I love that the business was started by two sisters who love to read and want to inspire other women to do the same since reading holds so many benefits. These lovely ladies from Hello Book Lover are also helping me give away one subscription box for the month of February!

The February box is themed "Notes on Love" and you can choose from  Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan. You can read more about the book choices on the Hello Book Lover blog.
You can save 10% on your first Hello Book Lover Box using the code "DREAM10" 
The giveaway will end Tuesday the 24th and you can enter via the Rafflecopter below--Good Luck! 
Have you heard of Hello Book Lover? What's your favorite type of subscription box to receive?





January 16, 2017

The Only Northern Girl Who Hasn't Visited Florida In January

This week---I'm sorry.... THIS WEEK :) I'm going on a little escape down South that I couldn't be more excited about.


vacation must have's





Tech accessory
$78 - apple.com


Nars cosmetic
narscosmetics.com


S well
nordstrom.com



This year for Christmas, Chuck and I agreed that we wouldn't exchange presents.  To be honest, after a rough few months at the end of the year I felt a bit behind on the Christmas front and I truly did not need or want anything except for my family together and healthy.

I planned on surprising my best friend for her birthday weekend by flying to Florida to be there and then I woke up on Christmas day and opened an envelope with an airplane ticket from my sweet husband to go on the trip. He always makes special days extra special and this Friday I take off for Fort Lauderdale for a fun girls weekend. I'm bummed he won't be joining our friends for the celebration, but I won't lie- I've been having a ton of fun thinking about all the fun we are going to have this weekend.

Our friends moved to the Fort Lauderdale area at the end of last year so it's obviously their first Florida winter and they are already claiming 65 degrees is cold- HA! As for me, I'm still packing a pair of jeans and some light sweaters because I'm afraid I'll still be freezing, just kidding it's going to be 84 degrees during the day and I CAN NOT WAIT!

Here are some vacation must have items you'll find in my bag this weekend:
Swell Bottle for airplane hydration
A black off the shoulder top for some birthday night out fun
Starbucks card for plenty of caffeine re-fueling
My iPad to read on the plane
Fun Kate Spade bags because her stuff is the cutest
Bright pink lips from Nars- Yu is my favorite shade they make

I've never been to the South this early in the Winter so I'm anxious to see what the weather will be like coming from the snow and cold. Needless to say I am excited and ready for a fun weekend full of brunching, speedboat tours in Miami, beach and celebrations!

Stay tuned for a list of what I'll be reading on the airplane and a giveaway this week on the blog. Tell me your favorite Fort Lauderdale area recommendations in the comments.
Happy Monday--hope everyone has a great week!


January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites: Home Decor

I LOVE shopping...I think half of my thrill comes from browsing and finding things and adding them to my cart. The good thing is, I don't buy every single thing I find. 

Recently we got some new living room furniture, and slowly I want to start making over the whole room to be a bit more cohesive. Our couch is grey and came with some mustard colored pillows that I wouldn't have thought of pairing together, but after searching Pinterest I have some ideas to bring some of that and gold in to the whole area. This waterfall abstract rug from Rugs USA is the perfect large element to tie it all together. I know their rugs are already super cheap, but I always get extra codes and money off around birthday month and a few other times a year so I may wait for that to scoop this up.
blue home decor
image via Rugs USA
We need a new floor lamp, and of course Target always has great deals. I love the look of this Modern Globe Floor Lamp, and it helps that it's shown with the colors we have and are going with.

I am obsessed with candles and always have some burning, but I would like a few new ones to save the containers of and use for decor or vases after they are done burning. I love this Voluspa candle and think the colors of the exterior would help tie the rug in with our couch and other elements of the room.
While browsing Pinterest, I came across this Etsy print and found several others that I love too. I think I may pick out three of them to frame in gold picture frames and hang in a row above the couch. The three in my Etsy cart right now really incorporate every color in the living room and would look great side by side. 



We are actually looking at a bigger townhouse again this weekend that we may move to, so the refresh on living room decor may just wait until that happens. 

Here's a picture of our new furniture I posted on Instagram a few months ago...follow along there for more fun and home decor snaps.

So what do you think? I am excited to see it come to life and add an extra pop of color.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend--Stay warm and enjoy!

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites. 


January 11, 2017

Reverse Bucket List

I saw this idea floating around on some blogs last year and thought it was fun. Instead of listing out my dreams and big things I want to do someday, why not share what I have already accomplished?!

Graduated college- I find it a huge accomplishment to graduate college. I feel very proud of myself for finishing and pushing through. To be completely honest, I didn't take it as seriously as I should have, but it was my mom's dream to see me attend and get a college diploma. She went to Mercyhurst University, but was a few credits short of graduating before she got pregnant with me and never finished. I wish she could have seen me walk that stage, but I'm happy I survived and actually did better as the years passed making Dean's List a few times.

Started and maintained a blog- In June of 2014 I hit publish on my very first post on Dream Big and Buy the Shoes and am proudly working on hitting my 3rd blogiversary mark this year. I love this blog and what it has come to be for me. My only goal when I started was to make one person a day smile, and the comments that I receive tell me I'm doing that...and a bit more. I can't thank this community enough for turning a small hobby into a big dream come true for me. I love my little space on the Internet!

Swam with dolphins- in May of 2014 we went on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas. My Stepson Ethan had big dreams of swimming with dolphins and would always freak out when commercials came on TV for different resorts. While on the cruise we booked an excursion on Blue Lagoon Island to swim with the dolphins, and I swear I still to this day have never seen a smile so big on Ethan's face.
dolphins in the bahamas
Saw Britney Spears in Vegas- if you don't know already, I am OBSESSED with Britney Spears. Like, could listen to her on repeat for months straight and watch Crossroads multiple times a day type levels. I love Vegas too and always wanted to see her perform there. In April of 2015 my husband and I went with some of our best friends for a Vegas vacation and saw the legendary Miss Britney Spears perform at Planet Hollywood.
britney vegas

britney spears vegas
Planned a bridal shower and wedding- growing up I was awful in art class. To think that I would ever plan something that was actually picture perfect is quite a miracle. I had SO much fun doing it all too.
DIY bridal shower

fun wine glasses

diy wedding centerpieces
Got married- I mean, it's great that I found someone to put up with all sorts of my craziness (see above).  I feel like I can compare it to skydiving, since that's also something I want to do. All this fun and excitement is built up and then it comes and your knees start to shake. You walk down the aisle (or jump out of a plane) and realize it's not so bad and then you go back to celebrating. Woo-hoo! You did it, and now it's all over.
Featured in a magazine-Since I was a young girl writing stories I have dreamt of having something featured in a magazine. I had two recipes featured in Holl and Lane Magazine in 2016 which was pretty cool. If you haven't heard of Holl and Lane, I suggest you check their unique, beautiful stories out some time. They have a blog as well which is equally as great.

Opened an Etsy shop-The Dreamy Details is officially a shop. While I haven't found the most successful way to advertise the shop and everything I'm capable of doing, I seem to get the most requests by word of mouth and things I don't even process through Etsy...which is fine by me. I love making signs, inspirational posters or things for your desk, and creating invitations or special pieces for events.

Became an Aunt- I am so happy to be blessed with two nieces and one nephew. One of my most favorite things is being an Aunt and I love spending time with all our little cuties.

Traveled to some fun cities- Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Chicago, and Boston just to name a few. I'm really excited to plan trips to some others as the years go on...I would love to see Nashville, and Salt Lake City and of course Los Angeles and San Francisco and New Orleans too. If only money grew on trees :)
things to do in boston

It's pretty fun to sit down and make a list of all the things I've already done so far. The awesome things is that there's a lot of time left to do many more things that are on my list. Some of my bucket list items are actually on my 101 in 1001 which I'm making pretty good progress on.

What are some things that are on your Reverse Bucket List? Do you have a 101 in 1001?